Taking a bit of a breather after last week’s episode ramped up the tension immensely, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 makes time to get in touch with its puzzler roots in Episode 3. That’s not to say that the combat is any less intense or frantic, but it definitely takes a backseat to some classic Resident Evil style brain-twisters, even if they don’t present much challenge.
Claire and Moira are given center stage this time around, with their episode clocking in at almost twice the length of Barry’s. It still only reaches the two hour mark, but it’s noticeably longer and honestly much more enjoyable. Picking up outside the tower that we left Barry and Natalia in, our heroines strike off in search of a factory that is locked off by an eerie statue of Prometheus. What follows is a creepy crawl through a meat processing facility and a boobie-trapped office, both of which provide some recognizable set pieces as well as some macabre imagery.
One of Revelations 2’s biggest problems thus far has been the lacking environments, with muddy textures reminiscent of the first entry’s PS3 port. It also doesn’t help that much of the combat takes place in corridor after corridor with hardly any variation, aside from Barry’s eerie forest trek in the first episode and Claire’s fishing village rampage from last week. While Episode 3 somewhat amends this with Claire’s time inside the thoroughly blood-drenched factory and a thrilling, fiery escape, both campaigns are weighed down by a bland sewer level.
The Resident Evil series has always had a flair for the cliched, but the inclusion of a dull walk through the same sewer in both campaigns was painfully boring. Barry’s campaign managed to fit in a nice sequence between him and Natalia that revealed a bit more about his issues with Moira, making up for some of the lacking design, but Claire’s slog through couldn’t have been less interesting if there weren’t any enemies at all.
The shock of Episode 2’s boss battle with the fireball-spewing baddie is also gone, with that particular enemy type reappearing more than a few times to antagonize and annoy Claire. Luckily, the battle that wraps up her side of the story is a major step up, even managing to push the plot forward with a nice twist that was slightly obvious but still works towards unraveling the mystery of the island.
Moira is given plenty more to do this time around, including being given her own puzzle that’s pretty neat if not extremely easy to figure out. She’s also given meta duty for this episode, commenting on the nonsensical nature of the puzzles while still solving them. She would make her father proud.
Barry and Natalia spend a majority of their story working through a switch-flipping section and a box-shoving puzzle, both of which slow the pace of their section of the game if played alone but are a total blast if played with a friend. The co-op remains fundamental to the experience while also being simple enough for one person to control on their own without wanting to feed their partner’s AI to the nearest creature, making Revelations 2 the first entry in the series to finally figure out how to work the mechanic into a title perfectly.
Although Barry’s half of the game doesn’t do much to progress the story, it once again ends on an eerie cliffhanger that left me excited to finally wrap up this adventure once Episode 4 rolls out next week. The revelation of Alex Wesker’s role in this experiment is an interesting one, but hopefully she’ll actually get some screen time next week instead of being relegated to being an objective for both groups.
Elsewhere, Raid Mode continues to expand and gain tons of depth with each passing week, with yet more stages being unlocked to hold us over until the full package is revealed. Whatever issues the campaign has, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 manages to provide hours and hours of fun with Raid Mode, almost overshadowing its own story with the extra feature.
Even though Episode 3 slowed down the pace with some incredibly simple puzzles and lacking environments, the core combat, co-op mechanic and creepy atmosphere continue to make Resident Evil: Revelations 2 an entry worth checking out for fans of the series. No matter my qualms with the title, I’m fully invested and more than ready to finally figure out what Alex Wesker’s true intentions are. Hopefully Capcom can round out the title with an explosive and horrific finale that ties things together in classic Resident Evil fashion.
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.
Although it slows down a bit for the sake of incredibly easy puzzles and some boring, bland environments, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 still continues forward at a fast enough clip to keep fans hooked through next week's finale.